Time management is a skill that takes time to develop and perfect. It’s also is a skill that is different for everyone. If you’re like a lot of people you spend your days in a frenzy of activity but achieve very little because you are not concentrating on the right things.
As an entrepreneur, you may be interrupted frequently and pulled in different directions, and while you can’t eliminate those interruptions, you do get a say on how much time you spend on them.
Taking the time to read about improving your time management skills can lead to great rewards…
- Plan your day: Take the first 30 minutes of every day to plan it. This is a very important time of your day. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. You need to stick to the plan as best as possible.
- Use a calendar or organizer: It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items. Any tasks or appointments that are important to your success should have a time assigned to it.
- Know your deadlines: When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly so you know when you need to finish them. Then working backwards allocate the time to each step in the project to determine the start date.
- Learn to say “No”: Don’t take on more than you can handle. As for the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm “no”, or defer it to a later time.
- Focus: Focus on just one important task at a time and get it done. Take care not to overlap tasks into each other. Multitasking is actually a hindrance to productivity.
- Prioritize: Remember that it’s impossible to get everything done and apply the 80/20 principle… this is a key principle in prioritization that odds are good that 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and activities produce 80 percent of your results. Learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.
- Delegate Responsibilities: If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes some pressure off and you can focus on the critical responsibilities.
- Eliminate your time wasters: Block out the distractions of social media unless you use these tools to generate business. You can make it hard to check them by putting them in a hard to access bookmarks folder, you won’t be tempted to check them as often.
- Do Not Disturb: Put up a “Do not disturb” sign when you absolutely have to get work done.
- Stop when necessary: Don’t be afraid to interrupt meetings or set a specific time to cut-off wandering conversations. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and your calendar just became overbooked.
If you take the time to practice some of these techniques you will have control over your time. Your best bet is to try a variety of different approaches until something clicks and sticks in your routine.
An individual skilled in time-management stands to gain much more from every day. Try engaging these tips in your daily life and watch your productivity grow!
Do you have any tips to be a better time manager?
Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC. We work with successful top executives with a driving ambition to crush their competition. We help CEOs and Entrepreneurs improve alignment, communication and accountability throughout their organization. www.55Questions.com
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